Duterte the crowd magnet


If the people who gather to see and listen to a presidential candidate in a rally is an indicator of who is going to win in the May elections in Bohol, there is no question that that candidates is Mayor Rodrigo Duterte of Davao City. The crowd that gathered last Sunday at downtown Tagbilaran, and at Ubay was unprecedented in the history of elections in Tagbilaran and Bohol. One only need to see the drone taken picture to agree to the statement. Not even a sitting President like Pinoy could gather that many people at one time.

Whether the number of people that attended Duterte’s rally only swarmed because of the “hakot” system is of no moment anymore. People will not allow themselves to be herded if they don’t want to. They came because they wanted to and they were there.

It is not the charisma of the person that attracts people to him. It’s because he presents a personality and behaviour that people on the street could easily identified with. He speaks the language of the ‘masa’ and his curses do not bother them because that is the lingo they understand.

He promises to cleanse the streets and the community of criminals and drug dealers – a reality that people are fed up with. They need asee in him the leader who can give the solution to their long felt problems in society. That is wht sets him apart from the rest of the candidats for President.

Many people may not agree with him when he says that he will end criminality and illegal drugs in six (6) months after he is sworn in as President. And given the Philippine experience and the experience of most sophisticated and advanced police organizations in the world, that promise is standing on soft and sandy ground. But to a people long tired of unresolved crimes, it is an alternative that one can pin his or her hope on.

I myself have serious doubts about that promise. But I want to see if indeed it can be done. If it can, how will it be done? Mayor Duterte can’t hypnotize all criminals and drug dealers to stop the only thing that they are good at. He must need an organization and an arm to do that. Right now the only organization he could use is the police and the military. He also has the local governments to do his bidding. But in six moths? That is impossible. He himself has said that “obedience to the law by the people is almost optional.”

He must first equip and retrain the police to earn the full trust and confidence of the people to make it ready to battle effectively the criminals and drug dealers. That cannot be done in six months unless he throws due process out of the window.

I still need to hear him tell the people how he will do it, otherwise it will just be another election propaganda to win votes. And I will not be convinced by mere propaganda.

There is no question that Mayor Duterte is the candidate for President who possesses the strongest political will but even that political will cannot make miracles in six (6) months. But I will be very happy to be proven wrong on this.

NOTES. The Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) will sponsor a forum with candidates for provincial elective positions on Friday dubbed as “Your Voice, My Choice.” However this will only limited to the candidates for Governor and for Congressman in the House of Representatives. This will be one opportunity to know better the candidates who can make Bohol safer and a better place to live and do business in.



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